New Class of Fire Fighters Begin Training Ready To Go - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/14/04

New Class of Fire Fighters Begin Training Ready To Go

Firefighters put their lives on the line almost every time they respond to a call. It's a physically challenging and mentally strenuous job, so it makes sense that becoming a fireman isn't an easy process. "It's a physically demanding occupation. You have to be in good condition, you have to be able to stand a lot of stamina and such as that," said Royce Ethridge, LFD Training Chief.

Meet the 14 newest members of the Lubbock Fire Department. A group of hero's in training...who are already ahead of the game. "This is the first bunch of recruits that we have hired that have already been certified on the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Therefore they are just going through a four week orientation on the way we do things on the LFD," said Ethridge.

A certification that includes 472 hours in 31 different subjects. Then they had to pass a written and physical ability test for the Lubbock Fire Department. Before their final four week orientation.

"The hardest part is staying focused on everything we're being taught. There's a lot of information, lot of physical training, running and lifting then there's the mental aspect of it. Just trying to remember everything we're being taught," said recruit Wade McDowell.

This fire simulation is a training scenario to make sure these recruits are prepared for the real thing. "We're just kind of checking our their skills, some of the things they were supposed to have learned in their training prior to coming to LFD, as far as engine operations, how to attack a scene, what they need to report, what they need to look for. We're just doing a refresher on what they've learned in the past," said Ethridge.

A refresher before these 14 fireman take action toward saving lives, a job they feel honored to hold. "I think it's a very noble and honorable career and I like to help people. I like a physical kind of job and it's different, it's different every day," said recruit Kurt Sydow.

This group of recruits brings the fire department to full staff, with 288 personnel on suppression. They graduate from training on the 23rd and will report to work the following day.

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